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Learning to find the sacred in life

Educate to the sacred to empower meaning, creativity, and wonder.
Educate to the sacred to empower meaning, creativity, and wonder.
Florence McGinn and Dr. Joseph T. McGinn

What holds sacred value? The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines “sacred” as “highly valued and important” and “entitled to reverence and respect.” What’s important to you? What seems to expand and fulfill you? In life’s journey, learning what one values, discovering one’s compass toward the sacred, is an integral part of both spiritual life and practical living.

Educating to discovery of one’s compass toward the sacred is an integral part of both spiritual life and practical living.
Florence McGinn and Dr. Joseph T. McGinn

Discover the sacred

Some discover the sacred in nature, others sense its essence within ordinary things like family life, relationships, and work, some seek it in outward challenges or within through internal meditation, some find it in organized religion or personal codes, and others strive toward its expression through art, music, science, or theology. An innate rightness or perhaps even inevitability lies within the human connection to the sacred, for as stated in the archetypal motto over the entrance door of Carl Jung’s home, “Summoned or not, the god will come.”

Sacred connections

Finding and entering the sacred creates insights and meaning. Helen Keller felt the sacred as a bridge and a connection to shared humanity. She indicated, “It seems to me that there is in each of us a capacity to comprehend the impressions and emotions which have been experienced by mankind from the beginning.” She went on to describe insight into the connected nature of life as “a soul sense which sees, hears, and feels, all in one.”


A sense of sacred essence empowers. William Blake sought to explain both the palpable as well as the invisible nature of the sacred when he described its miraculous nature in almost human terms as the capacity to “Hold infinity in the palm of your hand/And eternity in an hour.” Exploration of the sacred challenges human vision and expression. It adventures through the known into the unknown. Jonathan Swift recognized the sacred’s complex, challenging nature, and stated, “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Audre Lorde valued vision’s deep challenges with the assertion, “When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important where I am afraid.”


Quotations serve as insights, small lights of inspiration and direction. Here are a dozen quotes from noted sources designed to reveal more about the sacred and its role in human purpose, connections, and life: Savor them, for as Pablo Neruda indicated, “We need to sit on the rim/of the well of darkness/and fish for fallen light/with patience.”

1. “Wonder is a basis of worship.” Thomas Carlyle

2. “Pressed, I would definite spirituality as the shadow of light humanity casts as its moves through the darkness of everything that can’t be explained.” John Updike

3. “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein

4. “I say yes and ever yes whenever the distant, unknown, and beloved beckon me.” Kahlil Gibran

5. “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” Mary Oliver

6. “The spirit beholds a new world every moment.” Rumi

7. “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” Winston Churchill “

8. “Joy is not in things, it is in us.” Richard Wagner

9. “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” Albert Einstein

10. “The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice.” R.D. Laing

11. “Creation is taking place every moment of our lives.” D.T. Suzuki

12. “I walk out; I see something, some event that would otherwise have been utterly missed and lost; or something sees me, some enormous power brushes me with its clean wing, and I resound like a beaten bell.” Annie Dillard


Quotes are compelling; add in in the enhanced connections of original photography, and there is a crafted union of words and imagery. Combined, quotes and photography build deeper insights. Explore the union of quotes and original photography, linked to insights on learning about and discovering the sacred in the theme-supported slideshow that accompanies this article as well as on the Pinterest board, “Timeless Truth and Beauty.”

Something more

On life’s journey, the sacred empowers meaning, creativity, and wonder. Antoine de Saint-Exupery indicated that behind the things one can see “lies something vaster; everything is but a path, a portal, or a window opening on something more than itself.” The sacred can seem mysterious, but its power graces and resonates, for as Nobel prize winning poet Pablo Neruda described in The Sea and the Bells, “Pure is the sound of the sky, the blue voice of air.” Its energy is far reaching, for the human impetus to discover is compelling, to reach as Pablo Nerusa described, “to search once more for the light that sings/inside of me, the unwavering light.”

Find the take in this article to be helpful? National and Local Education as well as National and International Travel materials come from a husband and wife creative team, who travel extensively as photonaturalists and writers. One is an experienced scientist with a doctorate in Material Sciences and background in pharmaceutical and optics research. The other is former Vice President of GKE (Global Knowledge Exchange), who served as a US Web-based Education Commissioner during the Clinton administration, and was a former US National Tech&Learning Teacher of the Year.

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